Methodologies for the Measurement of Water Flow in Grapevines

  • J.M. Escalona
  • M. Ribas-Carbó


Many methods are available to calculate mass flow of water in the transpiration stream by using heat as a tracer. Measurements can be taken in herbaceous and woody tissues, and in any conductive organ including roots. Depending of the method, measurements are taken either in the part of the conductive organ where the sensors are located, or in the whole perimeter of the conductive organ. Some methods integrate the sap flow in the whole sapwood, while others give information to calculate sap flow at different depths below the cambium. Calibration is convenient in all cases, being compulsory for the invasive methods, since probe insertion alters the xylem characteristics. This chapter describes two main groups of methods, invasive and non-invasive. For each method, brief theoretical information and practical considerations are given. All the information help the users to choose the most suitable method for his/her own purposes.


Heat Balance Magnetic Field Gradient Heat Pulse Conductive Organ Stem Temperature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Heat pulse velocity


Heat pulse method


Compensation heat pulse


Heat dissipation


Heat field deformation


Heat ratio method


Stem heat balance


Trunk heat balance



The authors wish to acknowledge Mike van Bavel (Dynamax), Diego Intrigliolo and Enrique Fernández for their contributions on this chapter as specialists in sap flow techniques and for allowing use of pictures and schemes. Funding was provided by the Spanish Ministry of Education (project AGL 2008-04525-02-01). J. Escalona benefit from Balearic Government and Balearic University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Grup de Recerca en Biologia de les Plantes en Condicions Mediterrànies Universitat de les Illes BalearsPalma de MallorcaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Biologia, Grup de Recerca en Biologia de les Plantes en Condicions MediterràniesUniversitat de les Illes BalearsPalma de MallorcaSpain

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